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PDU Tip: Earning PDUs through Leveraging PDU Activities

In our current series of PDU Tips we are exploring the many ways you can earn PDUs. Today we look at how you can gain PDUs through leveraging your PDU activities.

One of the best ways to proactively plan your PDUs is to get creative and leverage one PDU opportunity upon another. For example, if you attend a PMI Chapter Meeting you will earn 1 PDU in Category A.
Why not piggy-back on that PDU opportunity by taking an active role as a volunteer at the registration desk? This will give you credit towards Category E PDUs as it counts towards volunteer service. You'll be at the Chapter Meeting anyway, so it is a great opportunity to use your time wisely and get the most out of the evening.

For an even better use of your time, how about listening to the latest PM Podcast episodes in your car on the journey there and back? This will give you Category C PDUs, as this qualifies as self-directed learning.

Let's take another example. Your Chapter is hosting an evening event which includes a panel discussion. You can volunteer to speak on the panel or to moderate the panel. Your preparation time and the
time spent delivering your presentation as part of the panel both count towards Category D PDUs, giving back to the profession by creating new project management knowledge. You can take notes during the event and afterwards write up an account of the evening for the Chapter newsletter or blog. You could even turn your presentation into an article for a magazine. This will give you some
more Category D PDUs. If the discussion covers topics that you know will help one of your colleagues, you can coach them on this topic and claim Category E free PDUs for volunteer service as a result. And of course, on your way to and from the panel discussion you can listen to the latest PM Podcast episodes on your iPhone or other mobile device – and claim Category C PDUs for that.

In these examples you will have used one event to generate PDUs in multiple categories. Don't be afraid to get creative and leverage PDU opportunities as much as you can.

PDU Tip: Earning PDUs through Formal Training

In our current series of PDU Tips we are exploring the many ways you can earn PDUs. Today we look at how you can gain PDUs through formal training.

Formal academic educational courses related to project management can earn you 10 to 15 PDUs per semester. These are not free PDUs, as you have to be registered on an academic course being offered by a university or college. You don't have to complete a whole degree and in fact only individual courses will be recognized by Project Management Institute (PMI) for PDU credits. The transcript or grade report is required for confirmation.

This will allow you to earn PDUs in Category B. It's one of the easier categories, as long as you are not financially challenged. If you are, there may well be project management related courses offered at your local community college that are more economical than the state and private collegiate institutions.

Wherever you decide to study, it goes without saying that the course must have a project management element. That doesn't mean it has to focus 100% on project management. When only a portion of your
course relates to project management, you can calculate the PDUs you have earned by the percentage of overall curriculum focused on the topic. For example, if 20% of the course covers project management topics, you can claim 20% of your hours of instruction. One hour of instruction equals 1 PDU.

If your course is not offered by a university or college you will have to keep records of your registration form, certificate of attendance, and a syllabus or brochure setting out what the course covered.  You also have to demonstrate the qualifications of the instructor, so if it isn't clear to you, ask the company or the instructor.

Like formal academic training, Continuing Education (CE) can be submitted as PDUs. Unlike formal academic training, CE's are courses that comply with IACET standards. CEU's (Continuing Education
Units) can be converted to PDUs; generally at a ratio of 1 CEU to 10 PDUs. Your best bet is to confirm with the provider that the course you are interested in complies with the ANSI/IACET 1-2007 Standard and of course it must be about project management.

That concludes this series of PDU Tips! No matter what your budget or your learning media preference, the methods we have covered over the last weeks are waiting to help you earn the 60 PDUs required for your recertification. Whichever route you take, keep consistent and remember to have some fun with it. I hope you've gained lots of ideas for building your PDU record towards a successful, cost-effective and stress-free recertification cycle.

Article contributed by Cornelius Fichtner, PMP
President, OSP International LLC